Most of us live on autopilot most of the time, acting and reacting in habitual ways.
Sometimes we’re aware of this and wish we could change, but most of the time we just keep on thinking the same way and doing the same thing, over and over again.
Our behaviours, thoughts and feelings come from the dominant parts of our personality, which developed in our childhood to protect us and enable us to survive.
These parts, known as ‘primary selves’ or simply our ‘primary self’, are our defences, and are who we identify as.
Our primary selves do an amazing job, but the way they function (and therefore how we function) may no longer be ideal.
For instance, if you developed a highly Responsible personality because that’s what worked in your family system, then as an adult you may be someone who others depend on but you might also find it difficult to let go, to be spontaneous and to have fun.
Or if you developed a strong Analytical Mind then you may find it difficult to express and understand feelings or to feel at all.
Or if you became a Pleaser, then you probably find it difficult to feel entitled to take for yourself and have your own needs met.
You actually have many aspects to your personality, which can be referred to as ‘inner selves’ or simply ‘selves’, and together they make up your personality as a whole.
Some selves you accept and identify with, while others are relegated to your ‘shadow’ and you may have no awareness of them at all.
Often people become different selves at different times.
So your Achiever or Perfectionist may be who you are at work. But your inner Caring Parent may be who emerges with your children.
Or in your relationship you may sometimes be your Playful Self or Sensual Self. But at other times your Critical Father/Mother or Needy Self takes over.
It could be that you are always operating from one self or a group of selves that work together, such as the Responsible Self or the Pleaser, and you struggle to express other parts of yourself.
Each part has a function in your psyche, and how you behave and feel is determined by how your inner selves are ‘configured’ in you.
That has massive implications for how your life and relationships play out.
If you’d like more choice in how you experience your life, if you’d like to change old patterns, heal old wounds and access new ways of feeling, behaving and relating, then developing greater awareness of and connection to your inner selves is key.
This website has plenty of resources to help you with this process.
You’ll find help with relationships, parenting, setting boundaries, decision-making, handling stress, accessing creativity, spirituality, and more. My articles include both explanatory information and practical exercises you can do.
You can also purchase my books (please do as the funds help with the running costs of this freely available site), the dvds/audios featuring Voice Dialogue’s creators Drs Hal and Sidra Stone demonstrating this work, and books from other teachers.
You’ll also find links to facilitators worldwide who offer private Voice Dialogue sessions and workshops.
This work can be used for general personal growth, help with relationship challenges, parenting challenges, sports coaching, helping business people understand their psychological make-up and that of staff, helping actors and other artists access the different parts of themselves to bring characters to life, and so on.
“I know your work will make a huge difference to the lives of many people.”Mrs A Salis
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